The end of the term draws closer and closer while the pile of work multiplies. This weekend, as the walls were closing in, I decided to spend a blissful 24-hours in my dearly missed hometown: Portland. No school work, no writing, just escaping back to home.

Before leaving town I had picked a big basket of greens from the Urban Farm – a mix of butter lettuce, beet leaves, swiss chard, arugula, and romaine. I made dinner with friends early in the evening. Salad, quinoa, steamed kale, sausages and cava. Mmm…

I rolled on over for some tango dancing, where I bought an obscenely expensive, totally worth every penny pair of new Comme Il Faut tango shoes. They are a nonsensical hot pink/scarlet red satin combo with a puff ball on the toe. I broke them in for a couple hours on the floor before sharing some microbrew with a buddy.

When normal people would go home, I decided to rock it to the wee morning hours with my earlier dinner companions. They played guitars and we all sang Gillian Welch songs for a few hours, drinking whiskey straight from the bottle. I think we ended with “Look at Miss Miss Ohio”.

The next morning I hit an old time brunch spot with my little brother and his lovely fiancee. I compensated with the few hours of sleep by drinking about six cups of coffee. I drew out some garden plans for their new little plot of earth and gave them tips on easy-to-grow veggies.

I wandered some of my favorite garden shops with my dear friend Denise, a fellow plant junkie. We “ooh”ed and “aah”ed over succulents, citrus plants and shelves of brassicas. Only plant nerds can understand that peacefulness we find when surrounded by lush growing things. It was dumping rain in buckets, but we didn’t let it rush us.

I’m back in Eugene now, exhausted, but it was worth every minute. The work will get done.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson